BRAC releases COVID-19 economic impact indicator dashboard for capital area

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BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The Baton Rouge Area Chamber released on Tuesday its COVID-19 economic indicator dashboard, which analyzes the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the local economy.

“Aside from the higher initial weekly unemployment claims, all other indicators continue to point to a gradual recovery that will be complete once consumer behavior returns to relative normality,” BRAC Senior Director of Business Intelligence Andrew Fitzgerald said. “Strong consumer spending in the weeks leading into the holidays are a very strong sign. However, as restaurants and bars are forced to curtail the size and number of holiday parties, they will be foregoing a major annual revenue stream. The usual seasonal employment bump the Capital Region sees this time of year may not come to pass in the COIVD economy.”

The dashboard, which examines data points to show the state of the economy at the time, utilizes data from several regional stakeholders. It provides a real-time look into the economy of the Baton Rouge area, according to BRAC spokesperson Kelly Bienn.

Bienn provided the following list of recent findings BRAC collected using the COVID-19 economic indicator dashboard:

  • For the first week of November, consumer spending was above pre-pandemic levels in the three largest parishes in the Capital Region, indicating strong consumer confidence.
  • Indicators such as hotel occupancy and fuel sales showed stability, remaining just below and just above 2019 numbers respectively.
  • Weekly unemployment claims rose for the first time in 17 weeks; however, the jump was so pronounced and contrary to other data, that the claims number is being reviewed by the Louisiana Workforce Commission.
  • While Professional Services, Government, Trade, Transportation and Utility job counts are just below or at pre-pandemic levels, Leisure & Hospitality (-24.3%) and Construction (-12.3%) are still struggling, although Construction added 2,500 jobs over the month.

Download this week’s COVID-19 economic impact indicator dashboard here.

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